Nearly 1 in 4 Americans taking prescription drugs say it is difficult to afford their medicines

Approximately one quarter of Americans taking prescription drugs (24%) and older adults taking drugs (23%) say it is difficult for them to afford their medications, according to the latest Kaiser Family Foundation Health Tracking Poll. The groups most likely to report difficulties affording their medications include people with monthly drug costs of $100 or more (58%), in fair or poor health (49%), with annual incomes less than $40,000 (35%), or taking at least four drugs monthly (35%). Thirty-percent of those aged 50-64 years report problems affording drugs. Members of this group take more prescriptions on average than younger people but are not old enough to qualify for Medicare and its drug benefit. In addition to difficulty affording prescriptions, 29% of all adults report not taking their medicines as prescribed at some point in the past year because of the cost. This includes 19% who say they did not fill a prescription or took an OTC drug instead (18%), and 12% who say they cut tablets in half or skipped a dose. Three in ten of those who report not taking their medicines say their condition got worse as a result (8% of the public overall).

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